What we wear has the power to make us strut with confidence whether we’re on a runway or the sidewalk. deKryptic is an AR apparel company that is changing how we view clothing and fashion in a new era. The company uses mobile technology, animation, and augmented reality to make their graphic tees and accessories come alive. We chatted with Chris Fermoselle, co-owner and Marketing Director at deKryptic.
Juanita: What inspired the name deKryptic? Tell us a bit about the company and how it got started.
Chris: My background comes from another business I have called Indoor Extreme Sports. We have two locations in NYC, and we are a family recreational center that has experiences such as paintball, laser tag, axe throwing, archery tag, escape rooms, and virtual reality.
I travel yearly to VR/AR conferences to learn about tech to see how I can use it for my business. That is how I started my VR arcade business. In the process of going to these conferences for VR, I learned about AR. So, I come from an entertainment background. I love making/providing experiences for people!
My other partner has a background in the fashion industry for over 30 years now and specializes in manufacturing and production of fashion products such as knits, wovens, cut and sews, outerwear, denim, and more! So long story short, one day we met up and I showed him the AR technology and he said why don’t we try this on a T-shirt. The rest is history!
As far as the name, we were looking for a name that would tie in with our message, our vision. Since our product uses augmented reality, and to us it’s such an awesome form of technology, we feel that our Boosted Art app is actually decrypting a hidden message (in this case, animations) behind our fashion merchandise. So we added our spin onto the normal decrypt word, and came up with deKryptic!
Juanita: There are really cool t-shirts and accessories on the web store – NASA, Rubik’s, Popeye, and the Living Dead. What’s it like working with these brands?
Chris: Thank you! These were our very first set of licensed brands that came on board with us and saw our vision right away! In today’s world almost every company has now been involved or is in the process of developing an AR strategy for their brands. Those who do not will simply be left behind.
So, to have these companies on board with us means a lot, and we don’t want to let them down! As with any other company, there’s always a process you have to get accustomed to. Now that there is an augmented reality aspect involved in the designing/animation process, the overall project takes a little longer as we want to make sure we deliver not only our vision, but our partner’s vision of their own brand using augmented reality!
Juanita: As a tomboy, I wear men’s t-shirts frequently because they frankly have more interesting artwork and decals on them. Will deKryptic begin carrying women’s and children’s apparel too?
Chris: Here at deKryptic, we know how AR works, have been around the technology for some time, and we still get excited about it because it’s our passion. However, the average consumer has not. Our goal will always be that we want to share AR with everyone as much as possible through fashion.
In today’s world almost every company has now been involved or is in the process of developing an AR strategy for their brands. Those who do not will simply be left behind.
So, of course, we have plans for women’s and children apparel as well! We are currently working on releasing our women’s line for this fall with a small release of crop top hoodies, crewnecks, and knotted T-shirts! Children’s will be in the future!
Juanita: Looking into the fashion future, where is AR apparel headed?
Chris: The fashion retail industry is dying. Fewer and fewer people are going out to shop at malls/stores. More people are shopping online. We have all heard about it, we are all experiencing it.
So we believe that the future of AR apparel is in both online and retail stores. With AR technology, we can create in-store experiences to help drive consumers back to these dying malls/ stores. For example, think about exclusive content that you can only get by going to specific store locations to unlock the code to get a certain sneaker, t-shirt, backpack, hoody, etc! The idea is to get people off the couch and get involved in using AR tech to get things they want. There are so many possibilities for what we can do with this!
As far as online, we are in the middle of developing what an AR shopping experience will be. You have other companies now for example like Ikea, where you can use AR to place a couch in your apartment to see how it looks. Take the same concept with fashion and accessories. Having the ability to see a backpack in full detail, with an awesome explanation video right in front of you would be amazing right?! Hope you get the idea!
Juanita: Any words of wisdom for fashion and tech-forward entrepreneurs who want to break into the AR apparel scene?
Chris: Its been about 2 years since we were able to launch our product into the marketplace. The AR industry is still so new for most people and they don’t understand it yet. The estimated time is about another 6-8 years until it really becomes a part of an everyday consumer’s life. With that challenge alone, that should give you enough information that it’s not an easy space to get into and that there will be resistance.
With AR technology, we can create in-store experiences to help drive consumers back to these dying malls/ stores.
There is a lot of behind-the-scenes trial and error we had to go through, that most people won’t realize. It will be hard, it won’t be easy, and that’s just the AR side of the brand. The fashion industry alone is an entirely other beast. It’s one of the most competitive industries in the world. I know my comment doesn’t sound too comforting, but take that as my words of wisdom. Like anything else, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. If it’s truly your passion, you will find a way!
Juanita: What’s next for deKryptic?
Chris: We will be attending the Agenda Las Vegas Trade Show, August 12 – 14. This is our second time exhibiting as one of the show’s sponsors! We are the world’s first augmented reality clothing & accessories brand! We will also be attending New York Comic Con this year!